2016年2月1日 星期一

a petition 为一个孩子申冤

1 February 2016 

Trip to Sha Tin from Tin Shui Wai 
Boarded bus 269D at Tin Yiu stop at 9.05a.m.
Bus arrived at New Yuen Long Centre at 9.50a.m. 
Bus arrived at Sha Tin at 10.30 a.m. 

Therefore a trip from Tin Shui Wai to Shui Chuen O Tsuen is at least one hour 45 minutes. 
So round trip is at least 3 hours 30 minutes. 

No wonder, the boy is so tired. Every morning he has to get up at 5.300, leave home before 6.00. and arrives at school at 7.45. He arrives home at 6.p.m. the earliest and when there are activities or extra lessons, he is home after 7.00p.m. No wonder he could not finish the readings I assigned him.


31 January 2016 

The mother received the recommendation letter from the school in Tin Shui Wai on Friday. We went to the school together to meet the teachers. The Principal saw us upon request. Mutual understanding was reached and we thanked the Form Coordinator, Class Teacher, and Academic Head and Principal for their support and assistance. 

Then we went to REO in Sheung Shui. We could not see the officer responsible for Sha Tin. But she did answer our phone enquiry. She told us that except three schools which have fully used their capacity, the other 30 schools still have vacant places. She told us that the EDB arranges transfer due to home move only for primary school children. The assumption was that secondary school children can travel to school anywhere in HK. Here is the policy gap. REO will not help because this case falls out of their jurisdiction. Schools have discretion regarding admission. 




Dear Chief Executive,


What’s happening in schools in Hong Kong? - A petition for a place for a student who wants to be transferred to  school near his new home 

The mother of a 13-year-old boy has been trying so hard to find a school for her son since June 2014, but to no avail. I have been going through the agony with the mother and the boy ever since then. And up to this moment, nothing has been heard from any school willing to accept this boy. This boy is not an SEN. He conduct is very good. He is not particularly weak in academic performance. He is studying in a ‘Band Two’ school in Tin Shui Wai. He was ranked 16th of the whole of Form Two. He is perfectly normal physically, emotionally, socially and intellectually. 

The family was allocated a flat in Shui Tsuen O Estate before the summer vacation. Due to the water contamination problem, they got the key to the flat in October instead of the original scheduled date in July. 

Since the end of June, the mother had been looking for schools in Sha Tin for the boy. They are Christians and so they preferred a Christian school, or one without religious background. Definitely they do not want to study in a Buddhist school. The boy applied for several ‘Band Two’ schools in Sha Tin. He took admission tests, but failed in either the written tests or the oral interviews. The mother found that the boy’s English standard was the major barrier. 

To help this boy get a better chance to get into a school in Sha Tin, I offered to give private tutoring sessions, free of charge, to the boy. Indeed the boy had a weak foundation in English. After about 50 hours from August to end of October, the boy showed significant improvement in English. He improved his ranking in the whole form and in his class. He passed English in the mid-term Exams.

Since the boy could not find a school in Sha Tin during summer, and the family could not move in to Shui Tsuen O yet, the boy continues studying in Tin Shui Wai. When the family moved in to Shui Tusen O, the boy stayed with a family in Tin Shui Wai, to save travelling time. 

The boy continues private tutoring session with me. Then the first term examination came. He failed the English Reading and Usage paper, but passed Writing and others. The boy told his mother that only a few students passed English. The paper was hard. 

The mother and the boy tried to look for schools in Sha Tin again in the past two weeks. This time, they tried a ‘Band Three’ school too. They did have an interview. The mother attended the interview with the boy. The teachers who interviewed them told them that they school was not suitable for the boy. The boy’s academic performance was too good. Their school could not offer the kind of teaching and learning that he needed. They have not heard from the school since the interview was over. 

The mother was desperate, and tried again and again to ask the school in Tin Shui Wai where the boy has been studying to write a recommendation letter for him. But again, the requests were rejected. The requests were never directed to the school principal. 

Being a retired school principal, my understanding is that REO has an obligation to help the boy get transferred to a school suitable for him. These schools in Sha Tin are all government subvented, they have the responsibility to accept the student and help him get integrated into the school community. As far as I know, the number of Form Two students is far fewer than that years ago, there should be more than enough places to accommodate this unique case. 

I am writing to seek your assistance in this case. I look forward to seeing a fair investigation and the wrongs being righted. 

Thank you for your attention. 

Dorothy Pang 

25 January 2016 



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